SURVEYS SHED LIGHT ON POSITIVES, NEEDS FOR YPS

By Joe Benesh, 2017 YP Iowa Vice President

In early 2017, YP Iowa conducted a survey of different demographic segments around the state to ascertain the current levels of engagement young professionals had in their various communities. The goal of the surveys were to better understand how YP Iowa could meet the needs of their target audience, and align those opportunities with their strategic tactical objectives as an organization.

This was the second of two surveys, the first of which was a community survey, which was responded to by 32 individuals. The second, the YP survey, was responded to by 65 individuals. Both have given insights into what YP Iowa and local YP organizations can do to improve the state and local communities. YP Iowa members can access full results by emailing us at info@ypiowa.com.

As a summary:
• Between 71.88% and 92.31% of those surveyed had a young professional organization (YPO) in the community or region.
• Of the YPs surveyed, most felt that they had between 50-over 100 members in their organizations.
• Most YPOs indicated that they meet monthly.
• Most YPs indicated that they appreciated the proximity to family as the primary attachment to their communities, while amenities were a close second.
• Most YPs felt that their community had made attempts to retain them, citing development of green spaces as a leading factor, while housing and workforce development were closely trailing.
• YPs cited a job opportunity as the primary reason they would move, and the comments reflected many viewpoints on the impact of housing and the development of their community's downtown as leading concerns for YPs in making decisions about remaining in their communities.
• Of note in the community survey, community involvement and leadership opportunities were cited as the leading attraction and retention models employed by the communities of those surveyed. Networking opportunities and cultural infrastructure were also mentioned. Housing was specified as a possible area to improve young professionals' experience in many communities.
• Most groups indicated that they have employed many mechanisms for collecting data about their communities in the YP framework, such as focus groups, online surveys, and lunch and learns.

The findings of this analysis would reflect that YP Iowa may be able to assist at the local level in the following ways:

• Provide information on access to housing opportunities for YPs via some local connection point.
• Assist in the collection of data for local groups to help publicize the attraction and retention efforts of localities.
• Collect and analyze workforce development opportunities available in the disparate communities in Iowa, sorted by demographic.
• Provide programming and resources for local YP groups in planning networking events, professional development events, and opportunities for civic engagement.
YP Iowa strives to actively react to member needs, and will explore programming to engage the areas identified by what we have collected. The survey gives good direction that helps support some of YP Iowa's existing programing and aligns with the organization’s goals as we look to the future.

Again, to access full survey results, reach out to us at info@ypiowa.com.

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